Category Archives: Beer

Flasks.com’s Veteran’s Day Drinks Recommendations

vets day

Veteran’s Day is an important day in America, and was actually established on November 12th, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson. Originally referring to it as Armistice day, Wilson stated the following:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

In honor of our veterans, the one thing we can always do is offer up a drink. Flasks.com gives you the three best drinks to have in honor of Veteran’s Day:

Perhaps the most fitting drink in name is called the Army Ranger. The recipe is pretty simple, and might appear to younger vets. Jagermeister, Rum, and Red Bull is all you need to swig an Army Ranger.vets day 2

The exact ingredients are .5 oz of Rum, 1 oz of Jagermeister, and 8 oz of Red Bull (or depending how much your heart can handle). Mix all of these together with crushed ice in a glass. For the best appearance, you can garnish it with mint leaves.

The Forget Me Not drink is a source of pride for vets, and is drank to remember all vets – both fallen and living. The recipe for this is for those with a sweet tooth, and can handle hard drinks. This particular drink has 2 variations: One version contains 1 oz of apple Schnapps mixed with .75 oz of cherry liquer. The other version is a bit more bombastic, and contains: 2 shots of absinthe, 2 shots of black Sambuca, and 2 shots of Baileys. Wow! You might need a really large flask to carry all that. That latter version is no small beans, and should you drink it, you will likely forget what happened for the night. Ironic, isn’t it?

beer 2The final drink is interesting because it only came to be known after the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden was interviewed by Esquire Magazine, and mentioned off hand that he and some mates were drinking Commando Ale. Here is the original article in which he mentions the mysterious brew.

Unfortunately there is no recipe available for it, but it is said to be a very strong homebrew beer, with a young kick but very tasty. The original recipe is said to originate from Scotland, where Commando Ale is served in various pubs. If any readers can find more information about Commando Ale – definitely let us know and message us on our Facebook page!

Babe Ruth: Beer and October Home Runs

babe ruth

It’s October, which means one thing: Baseball playoffs. The culmination of 6 long months of America’s pastime, 162 games over 6 months, players grueling it out in the April rain, the July heat, and the October snow (Colorado). And now, with a few playoff series, a champion will be crowned.
One of the greatest October players of all time is undoubtedly Babe Ruth. In fact, October 9th seems to have been a particularly lucky day for Ruth. Check out his October 9 baseball playoff highlights:

 

  • October 9,1916 – Babe Ruth begins 29 2/3 scoreless World Series innings
  • October 9,1921 – Hits first World Series homer
  • October 9, 1928 – Has 3 homer World Series game

So, what was Ruth’s secret to his postseason success? Could it be beer and alcohol?

Take one of the most famous drinking stories as a great anecdote for Ruth’s prowess: The White Sox were facing the Yankees on a Sunday, so they decided to take him out on a Saturday night in Chicago. They got a local bartender to make a strong alcoholic punch. They gave him plenty and he drank more than anybody else on the team. The White Sox players were sure that Ruth would be incapacitated by game day. Sure enough, The Babe arrived at the game on no sleep, performed spectacularly, and then amazingly asked the White Sox players if they were going out again after the game.

Ruth’s drink of choice does not seem to have been any particular beverage, though his affinity for beer is unquestioned. Take this quote for example: “Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, “It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” Talk about a charitable man who loves his drinks!

Ruth’s penchant for beer and hot dogs was legendary, and nutritionists are amazed that he was able to live for 53 years. It’s no secret that he took the field while inebriated, and certainly hit home runs with alcohol still in his blood.

Ruth is part hero, part cautionary tale. While drinking is fun and his ability to hold his liquor was considered legendary, there are many who would have liked to see Ruth live a longer life, had he drank less and eaten more healthy. But at the very least, we can respect Ruth’s incredible legacy: a love of beer and life, heroic October baseball performances, and a legacy that will live on forever.

 

Hamburgers and Alcohol – A Match Made in Heaven

On this day 60 years ago, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s as we know it. Of course McDonald’s existed previously – it was created in 1940 by the McDonald brothers, but the McDonald’s we know today has its roots with what Kroc created on April 15, 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois.

oldest operating McDonald’s in Downey, C by singamelodie, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  singamelodie

Kroc wanted to take control of the company as he didn’t feel as though the brothers sufficiently recognized the potential of the restaurant. They only wanted to have a small number of branches, while Kroc wanted to conquer the world and conquer it he did!

Now it is impossible to imagine a world without an omnipresent McDonald’s. They have 35,000 branches in over 100 countries.

If one was going to have a barbeque and make their own hamburgers, what would be the drinks to accompany it? Fast food restaurants have been serving alcohol for a while and if you go to any pub they are likely to have food to go with the drinks.

Beer is choice of many especially during the hot summer months, but what if you wanted something a bit more sophisticated?

New York Sour – this whiskey sour with red wine on top is great because it looks like a combination of mustard and ketchup. Like many other drinks, this has existed under a number of different names, but whatever you call it is tastes delicious.

Margarita by Maëlick, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Maëlick

Margarita – this is a great drink to have at any time of the day. The combination of tequila, lime juice and Cointreau results in a magical mixture of sweet and salty that is great for getting the party started or washing the meal down. The drink’s merit seems so obvious that it would have invented itself and as such there is a debate about the origins of it.

BBQ by Jun Seita, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Jun Seita

Whiskey – When it comes to steak, it’s traditional to pair red wine with it, but 21st century drinkers aren’t so wedded to outdated and ancient traditions. There is nothing wrong with kicking back at a barbecue with a flask. In fact, nothing washes steak and whatever else you may consume at your barbecue than a single malt. It will put the finishing touches on a great meal.

With the family values at McDonald’s don’t expect to see whiskey or cocktails on their menu, although in some of European countries they serve beer. Given Ray Kroc’s family comes near Plzeň in the Czech Republic he would definitely approve of this.

Beer Guide part 4 – Stouts, stouts, and more stouts!

In part three of this series, we covered Strong Pale Ale, Stout, Porter, and Irish Stout. In part three we will cover a few more beer types and give you a quick rundown of some key differences between them.

Today, we’re going to examine:

  1. Imperial Stout
  2. Oatmeal Stout
  3. Chocolate Stout

Imperial Stout, sometimes also referred to as Russian Imperial Stout or imperial Russian stout, is a strong, dark beer, produced by Thrale’s brewery in 18th century London, England. This stout-style beer was brewed exclusively for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia. It was characterized by a substantial alcohol content, usually over 9%.

Although the subject of much dispute in the brewing world, there was a time when “porter” was considered an alternative name for stout. Historically, however, there are no differences between the two darker beer types. The term “stout” was actually used at one point to describe a stronger version of porters issued from a single brewery.

When a proportion of oats is added to the brewing process (capped at 30%) the resulting beer is known as an Oatmeal Stout. Although a lot of oats in beer can cause a bitter taste, oats were a common ingredient in ale brewing during the medieval period in Europe, when proportions of 35+% were standard.

By the 16th century, the consumption of oat beers has largely subsided in Europe. Tudor sailors went so far as to refuse oat beer served to them due to the bitter, often astringent character of these brews. That being said, a select few European countries, like Norway, kept oat beers on tap through this period.

Interest in oat beers was revived toward the end of the 19th century, albeit with far less oat content. In the 20th century, the majority of oatmeal stouts contained only a small amount of oats. The name “oatmeal stout” seems to have stuck for marketing purposes more than anything else. Such a small quantity of oats would generally have little impact on the flavor or texture of these beers. Oats do, however, have a significant impact on the texture of the beer. Oatmeal stouts are generally smoother in texture due to various lipids, proteins, and gums inherent of the oats.

There are super dark stouts that have a tendency to share a similar palate to that of high quality dark chocolate. Using darker, more aromatic malt can result in what brewers generally call “Chocolate Stout“. Chocolate malt is particularly renowned for being roasted or kilned until it acquires a dark “chocolate” color. These stouts can also present a palate reminiscent of fine mountain grown coffees.

That wraps up part four of the Flasks.com Beer Guide Series. Check back often in order to make sure you don’t miss the upcoming installations of the Beer Guide!

Beer Guide part 3 – Strong Pale Ale, Stout, Porter, & Irish Stout

In part two of this series, we covered European Wheat Beer, American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, and Blonde Ale. In part three we will cover a few more beer types and give you a quick rundown of some key differences between them.

Today, we’re going to examine:

  1. Strong Pale Ale
  2. Stout
  3. Porter
  4. Irish Stout

Strong pale ales are made with a large amount of pale malts and have an alcohol strength that’s generally at least 5%, though typically found to be higher at 7% or 8%. Some are even as high as 12%, though some brewers have been pushing the alcohol strength even higher!

American strong ale is yet another broad category of ales used in America to describe ales that are of 7% alcohol or higher. Beers that meet this criteria are also known as double IPA’s, barley wines, or old ale depending on the style.

Stout Beer

Photo Credit: George Kelly

Stout is a dark beer produced with roasted malt or barley. Hops, water and yeast are additional ingredients used in the production of stouts.Traditionally, “stout” is the generic term used to refer to the strongest (or stoutest) porters, which are usually 7%, even 8%, alcohol.

The word “stout” was originally used in England, to mean “brave” or “proud”. Later,post-1300’s, the word took on the connotation of “strong.” It was first used to describe a beer in a document from 1677  which was found in the Egerton Manuscript. The word was used in context to describe strong beer.

Another beer type, Porter, originated in London in the early 1720s. With its strong flavor, this beer style quickly became a hit in London of the 18th century. Porters were known to take longer to spoil than other beers, increase in alcohol content with age, and were significantly cheaper than other beers. The fact that it withstood spoiling, even in hot temperatures was an extraordinary benefit in a time when electricity and refrigeration were not available.

Irish stout (dry stout) generally refers to a beer that is very dark or rich in color and is often characterized as “roasted” or “coffee-like” on the palate. Known as Leann Dubh (black beer) in Irish, the most well-known names in stouts are Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish.

That wraps up part three of the Flasks.com Beer Guide Series. Check back often in order to make sure you don’t miss the upcoming installations of the Beer Guide!

What Are the Health Benefits of Beer? Antioxidant, Anti-Aging Drink

Good news everyone! Aside from being good for your psyche, they say that beer has quite a few health benefits, whomever “they” may be! Let’s take a closer look to see what this is all about.

Beer in Glasses

Photo Credit: Adam Fagen

Beer is known to contain anticancer properties, be good for your bones [density],  help reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases, give a nice boost to our digestive systems, make us stay younger longer (anti-aging properties), and help us maintain our sanity by preventing dementia and coronary disease! Beer is also known to help counter effects of diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones and osteoporosis, and hypertension. So what’s with all the kale and organic pine nuts, huh?! We should all just down some brewskies and call it a day! These health benefits come, of course, with the understanding that the quantity we are consuming is moderate. Too much of anything is not good for you… even kale.

So, let’s look at a few of these health benefits more closely. Then YOU can defend your beer drinking habits, by reciting some of these health benefits of beer.

Beer Glass - Jeramey Jannene

Photo Credit: Jeramey Jannene

Nutritionally speaking, Beer, which is generally perferred in North America and Europe, has greater protein and vitamin B content than wine, while the antioxidant content is equivalent. Hops, a central component in beer brewing, is a rich source of flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants. Beer constitutes a reliable source of some minerals which play important roles in some metabolic processes.

Drinking beer in moderation has been shown to strengthen bones (by increasing bone density), which helps prevent the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Beer is also a good source of vitamin B12 and folic acid. A deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid can lead to anaemia, which is something most people do NOT want (so go grab a brew!). Vitamin B12 is also known to be essential for maintaining normal growth, good memory and concentration. Vitamin B6, also knwon to be found in beer, protects against heart disease by preventing the build-up of homocysteine compounds. Beer has a thinning effect on blood and prevents the formation of unhealthy blood clots, which can dangerously block vital coronary arteries.

Xanthohumol, A flavonoid compound found in hops, is known to contain chemopreventive properties which help take cancer head on! Additionally, beer drinking increases the potency of vitamin E in our bodies. Vitamin E is a major antioxidant and, apart from being vital in maintenance of healthy skin, it slows down the aging process! Some studies even linked moderate beer consumption to lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Beer also acts as a diuretic, promoting increased urination and facilitating removal of toxic and other waste materials out of the body at a higher rate. It’s like beer is the long-awaited fountain of youth! Are you drinking yet?

So, there you go! Go have a toast to a long life in good health, and have a beer!

Beer Guide part 2 – American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Blonde Ale

In part one of this series, we covered Pale Ale, Amber Ale, and Wheat Beer. In part 2 we will cover three more beer types and give you a quick rundown of some key differences between them.

Today, we’re going to examine:

  1. European Wheat Beer (Belgian Witbier & German Weissbier)
  2. American Pale Ale
  3. India Pale Ale
  4. Blonde Ale

European Wheat Beer (Belgian Witbier & German Weissbier)

In recent years, some Belgian brewers have been making fruit flavoured wheat beers. Some wheat beers acquire their sourness through the use of lactic acid bacteria in the fermentation in addition to the yeast.

Two common varieties of wheat beer are witbier (which in Dutch means “white beer”) based on the Belgian tradition of using flavorings such as coriander and orange peel. This practice was revived by Pierre Celis at the Hoegaarden Brewery, and at the Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas. The other is weissbier (which is German for “white beer”) based on the German tradition of mixing at least 50% wheat to barley malt to make a light colored top-fermenting beer.

Both the Belgian witbier and the German weissbier were termed “white beers” because the word “wheat” has the same etymological root as the word “white.” Belgian white beers are often made with raw unmalted wheat, as opposed to the malted wheat used in other beer varieties.

American Pale Ale

In the last installment, we mentioned Pale Ale, and it is worth mentioning that American Pale Ale (APA) was developed around 1980. The brewery believed to be the first to successfully use a substantial amount of American hops, as used in APA style beers, and use the name Pale Ale, was the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Sierra Nevada brewed the first experimental batch of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in November 1980, and began distributing their product in March of 1981.

American Pale Ales are generally around 5% alcohol by volume with significant quantities of American hops, typically Cascade. Although American brewed beers tend to use a cleaner yeast, plus American two row malt, it is actually the American hops, in particular, that distinguish an APA from a British or European pale ale. The style of the APA is close to the American version of India Pale Ale (IPA), and boundaries blur, though IPAs are stronger and more assertively hopped. The style is also close to Amber Ale, although Amber Ales tend to be darker and more maltier due to the use of crystal malts.

India Pale Ale

India Pale Ale or IPA is one of the pale ale beer styles that falls within the broader category of pale ales, and it was first brewed in England in the 19th century. The strong flavor associated with IPA’s comes from the excessive amount of hops that is required to brew this style beer. The beer was made with enough hops to weather long voyages on cargo ships, hence the “bitter,” hoppy flavor associated with most IPA’s. Good IPA’s will have tropical notes in the aroma and palate. Craft beers and microbreweries take great pride in engineering a great IPA recipe – a delicate balance of art and science.

Blonde Ale

Blonde ales that are very pale in color. The term “Blonde” for pale beers is popular mostly in Europe and South America, particularly in France, Belgium, and the UK in Europe, and in Brazil, although the beers may not have much in common, other than the color.

That wraps up part two of the Flasks.com Beer Guide Series. Check back often in order to make sure you don’t miss the upcoming installations of the Beer Guide!

Top 5 Drinks Served at College Parties from the Best Party Schools

Belushi in Animal House

The Legend

College students have always been known to be a party crowd, and there are many reasons for this phenomenon. Part of the reason is because they just recently became “old enough” to drink, and they are testing the waters with their new found activity. Others are away from home, and their parents, for the first time, and they “go wild.” Others succumb to peer pressure, and since their friends and fellow classmates are partying, they do not want to be considered “square,” or “uncool.” And thus the concept of college parties thrives and grows each and every year.

Whatever the reasons, when college kids drink, they often gravitate to the same drinks, over and over. Let’s take a few of the top drinks found at college parties across the country, from the most reputable ivy league universities to the best party schools.

1. Beer

Still the most common, most available, easiest drink to buy, transport, and keep cold, beer is easily the most popular at college parties. Even kids who don’t really drink, or don’t really like to drink, can slowly nurse a beer, and hold the can in their hands, for hours, so no one will know they’re not really a drinker.

2. Rum & Coke

Very popular, probably because, (A) most people like Coca-cola, (B) rum is a sweeter liquor than some others, and (C) it rolls off the tongue when ordering… “I will have a Rum & Coke, please.” By the way, Rum, Coke, and a twist of lime, is a Cuba Libre. Some people carry the rum in a hip flask, then pour some into an iced glass of Coke.

3. Long Island Iced Tea

Mixing Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Triple Sec, with sour mix, and a splash of cola, gives the appearance of “real” iced tea, and the flavors blended together actually make it delicious, and a drink that “goes down easy.” However, the mixture of all of these, and having one too many, can certainly send a college girl into the corner with a camera man, and have her end up on a DVD sold on late night infomercials or in an advertisement in the back of a men’s magazine. Male or female, the indulger is sure to wake up with one heck of a hangover!

4. Frozen Daiquiris

These are often called “kiddie drinks” because the fact that they are sweet, blended with ice, and have the consistency of a “milk shake.” These traits make frozen daiquiris easy to tolerate for people who are not likely to drink a traditional martini or a shot of scotch. Of course, you cannot put one in a hip flask, but the hip flask crowd does not drink these, anyway.

5. Jägermeister

Don’t ask me why, but college kids love this drink. It almost tastes like a cough syrup, or a freshly mowed lawn. It is a German 70-proof (35% abv) digestif made with 56 herbs and spices. It is the flagship product of Mast-Jägermeister SE, a company headquartered in Wolfenbüttel, south of Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany.

College kids in the USA, often refer to it, with a word that sounds like they’re saying Yeager, pronounced like Chuck Yeager, the famous American pilot. A shot glass of Jägermeister dropped into a glass of Red Bull energy drink makes a cocktail called a Jägerbomb. Highly recommended if you want to impress your friends with your projectile vomit skills.

At Flasks.com, we’re pretty set on our whiskey and bourbon, especially because of their inherent relation to hip flasks. But, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what drinks you like to party with!

Beer Guide part 1 – Pale, Amber, Wheat – What Does it All Mean??

Beer is one of the nation’s most popular beverages. However, it seems people are confused about their options beyond the generic tasting, well known brands. So we see it as our duty to try and educate the minds and palates of potential beer enthusiasts. Welcome to the Flasks.com Beer Guide series.

In part one of this series, we will cover three different beer types and give you a quick rundown of some key differences between them, including: color (amber, gold, copper, brown, dark, light), taste (bitterness / sweetness), and “hoppiness” level, (hops is one of the central ingredients used in many beer recipes and plays a crucial role in the resulting flavor profile).

Today, we’re going to examine:

  1. Pale Ale
  2. Amber Ale
  3. Wheat Beer

Yeasts that ferment at warmer temperatures, around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, will actually form a layer of foam on the surface of fermenting beer, which is why they are referred to as top-fermenting yeasts. Yeasts that ferment at lower temperatures, around 50 degrees, will have the ability to process a chemical compound called raffinose, which is a complex sugar created during fermentation. These yeasts collect at the bottom of the fermenting beer and are called bottom-fermenting yeast. The majority of beer today that is fermented in this way is called lager.

Most beers use barley malt as their primary source of fermentable sugars, and some beer styles require that it be used exclusively. Other styles use one or more other grains as a key ingredient, such as wheat beer, rye beer, or oatmeal stout. Hops contribute to the bitterness, flavour and aroma of a beer in various ways and depending upon when they are added during the brewing process. How much hop bitterness and aroma is appropriate varies between beer styles. There are many varieties of hops around the world, and some hops are associated with beers from specific regions.

Pale Ale

Pale Ale is made through warm fermentation using predominantly pale malt. It’s the higher proportion of pale malts that results in this variety’s lighter hue.

Amber Ale

Amber Ale is a term used mostly in the U.S.A., Australia, and France to define pale ales that are brewed with a proportion of what’s known as crystal malt.  This crystal malt is key to producing the signature color range of most Amber Ales – generally ranging from light copper to light brown. A small amount of crystal or other colored malt is added to the basic pale ale base to produce a slightly darker color, as in some Irish and British pale ales.

Wheat Beer

Wheat beer is a beer that is actually brewed with a large proportion of wheat in addition to the malted barley; wheat beers are usually considered ales. In Germany, where beer making laws restrict ingredients to almost nothing beyond the basic grains, national law requires these beers to be called ales. Wheat beers tend to taste a little tart, or even sour, and because of this, sometimes beer enthusiasts add sweetened syrups of lemon, raspberry or woodruff herb into the beer.

That wraps up part one of the Flasks.com Beer Guide Series. Check back often in order to make sure you don’t miss the upcoming installations of the Beer Guide!